Member of Parliament for Tati West Charles Tibone has expressed concern over the proliferation of parastatals with duplicate duties. Debating the establishment of Botswana Geoscience Institution bill by the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Tibone questioned the rationale of setting up the institution. “Have we tried to enhance the capacity of Geological Survey Department and satisfied ourselves that we really need a new entity to replace it?” questioned Tibone rhetorically. Tibone, a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mineral Resources & Water Affairs from 1979 to 1989 asked what will be the relationship between the new entity and the geological survey department.
When deliberating on the bill, raised pertinent issues regarding the establishment of the institution and wanted the minister to state whether the geological survey has failed in its mandate, saying they are not why , establish another entity whose mandate can be fulfilled by the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST). He said he was worried that there is a risk that Botswana Geoscience Institution might move away what is considered priority to the government especially the issue of water resources as they will not be under the ministry of minerals, energy and water resources.
Government has been merging some parastatals which shared similar duties and the Tati West legislator observed that government is taking one step forward and two steps backwards. He said that executives of these new parastatal are normally left to their own devices. Though he supports the establishment of the institution, Member of Parliament for South East South Odirile Motlhale said that he was also worried about the many state enterprises.
He called on the establishment of the ministry of state enterprise in order to manage them as they are now too many. Kanye North legislator, Kentse Rammidi also reiterated his concern. “Immediately these institutions are established as corporates we are going to see the escalation of overheads and chief executives who are not even suitable for the job,” he said. Rammidi however said that he supports the bill to establish the Botswana Geoscience Institute as it will come in handy in terms of research in geological survey.
Member of Parliament for Lobatse Nehemiah Modubule said that though he supports the bill he is worried that just like the High Court, immediately after the institution have been established it will be moved away from Lobatse. The aim of the institution is to undertake research in the field of geoscience and providing specialized geoscience services. It will be empowered to be the custodian of geotechnical information, promoting the search for and exploration of any mineral in Botswana and to act as an advisory body in respect of geo-hazards.